Beyond the Brief - Bruce Bailey
Oct. 30, 2012
Welcome to Beyond the Brief, Chambliss' weekly column highlighting firm attorneys. For this interview, we chose Bruce Bailey, the head of Chambliss' litigation section.
In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
General business litigation, with a concentration on bankruptcy
Who would be your typical client?
My typical client is unique, but usually a business or individual seeking recovery or retention of real property, insurance, monies or other assets.
What has been your most challenging case? Why?
My most challenging case involved product liability defense of a computer monitor alleged to have started a fire. After the fire, the remnants had been discarded, and this presented novel issues of spoliation of evidence and numerous witnesses expert in fire cause and origin, in electrical and computer engineering, and in damages. These complications led us to try the case to a jury three times: a mistrial, a hung jury, and a 100% defense verdict.
What has been your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Selection as Tennessee’s Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.
What do you do when you’re not practicing law?
Read, watch movies, travel, enjoy my family and dogs.
What would surprise people most about you?
I worked two years in a hospital as a conscientious objector from 1970-72. Also, my Indiana home town, population 18,000, has the world’s largest high school gymnasium for basketball, seating more than 10,000.
What has been your most memorable Chambliss experience?
Daily dealing with great people and great lawyers.
What career would you have chosen if you weren’t a lawyer?
College English literature teacher.
If a movie were made of your life, who would you want to play you?
Sam Waterston; after the last jury trial I had, the jurors told us they had nicknamed each lawyer, and called me “Law and Order” after Sam.
How would you like to be remembered?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “a chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.” I’d like to be remembered as kind, caring, and startling.
Would you like to say anything else?
As Warren Zevon said when dying of cancer, “Enjoy every sandwich.”
To contact Bruce: